At least 1,820 farmers in Kwania district have subscribed to benefit from the Agricultural Cluster Development Project (ACDP).
ACDP is a five-year government project initiated in 2018, to improve on-farm productivity, production, and increase volumes of selected agricultural commodities in specific geographical clusters of the country.
In July this year Kwania District Local Government received Shs 192m from the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal and Fisheries under the Cluster Development Project.
The fund is part of a USD 249m loan from the World Bank, obtained by government to support the farmers through the provision of agricultural inputs, fertilizers and pesticides under a cost-sharing arrangement.
Under the scheme, a first-time farmer is supposed to pay 33 per cent of Shs 450,000, with government covering the balance. In the second season, government and the beneficiary farmer each cover 50 per cent of the total cost, while in the third season, governments pay 33 per cent while the farmer takes on the remaining amount.
Kwania District Agricultural Officer, Sam Opule, also the ACDP Focal Point person, says that the project targets to enrol 2,750 farmers in Kwania.
He is optimistic that the project will greatly improve household income by enabling farmers to produce enough food for family consumption and also get them an affordable market for local produce.
“If farmers are brought together, they are empowered to own their products, which means they can set their price and determine where to sell their produce. And since there is an element of value addition and storage, they will be able to bulk together, and have stronger bargaining power,” Opule said.
Under the ACDP, subscribers are entitled to seeds of rice and beans, herbicides, assorted fertilizers to enhance soil fertility, and tarpaulin for post harvest handling and other packages.
Johnson Ojok, the Kwania District Production Coordinator, said farm inputs have already been supplied to 870 farmers enrolled under the project.
“We also plan to re-open seven community access roads in Abongomola, Nambieso, Aduku and Chawente sub counties and establish three stores in Abongomola Sub County to facilitate the farmers’ businesses,” he said.
Joshua Omara, a resident of Abura Village in Nambieso Sub County Kwania district, thanked government for the initiative, saying:
“I am pleased by the government initiative because our challenge has been getting quality seeds. I managed to plant my 7 acres of soya beans in time, the seeds were of good quality and am hoping to reap big this season,” Omara said.
Sharon Awio, another farmer from Inomo Sub County who benefitted from inputs under the project, asked the District Agricultural department to ensure consistency in delivering inputs on time.
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